AUTUMN ARTS . . . for Home Sweet Home

Thought it would be fun to talk about AUTUMN ARTS today — with prettiest MUSICA — October starts TOMORROW, so here are lots of ideas and fun for your Home Sweet Home because . . .


One of the things I love most is a walk in the woods when the wind is blowing and the leaves are falling.  See that road?  I know just where it goes, I know how it sounds, and how it smells, I’ve been going here almost every day for the last twenty years . . . Our leaves are very wet today and have a way to go before they’re this colorful . . . we’re in no hurry!  I want this season to last as long as possible, but this is what we have to look forward to . . .

While we’re out here, we gather foliage to make bouquets when we get home . . .

And make a batch of hot cider . . . to warm and scent the kitchen with apple and cinnamon . . .

. . . and to drink while we play with all the goodies we found, free from the woods!

A little thread, a few leaves, and voila!  Home Decor!

We bring home crooked branches of leaves and bittersweet to decorate.  Because it’s

. . . we are vagabonds, and our Gypsy Blood is astir . . .  

Overcome with “pathological enthusiasm,” out comes all my old wooden candlesticks and bowls and baskets . . .

This time of year, a basket of crisp apples is as pretty as a bouquet of store-bought flowers, and has a lot more going for it (besides the obvious rosy redness): they cost less, smell good, are very useful, taste delicious, and last longer than flowers!

Leaf garlands over windows and mirrors adds lots of color.

And this.  Night time by the fire is the perfect time for my my delicious Corn Chowder  — which, if you haven’t tried, you really should . . . just click there for the How-To and Recipe and have it bubbling on your stove in no time.

Put a leaf between your diary pages (especially the one you caught and made the wish on) . . . write down what fall looks like in your neck of the woods and include your favorite family memories and traditions.  (BTW, It’s OK to tell wishes to diaries, in fact, writing down dreams is one well-known way to get them to come true. ♥)

Decorate with candles and books for extra homeyness . . .

Hanging fresh laundry to blow in the wind is one of the prettiest things to do on a crisp fall day . . .

As the days get shorter, the last of the tomatoes will have to come in from the garden to ripen on the windowsill . . .

I’ve been washing feather pillows and airing quilts on the line . . . which I do in the fall to get them ready for a long winter’s nap!

  It’s a good time to gather a little tablescape of things for the season . . . how cozy will your table be this year?

Filling your house with lovely baking smells . . . such as this delicious Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, is just the right thing to do.  Invite your girlfriends for tea, cider, cake, and girl talk . . .

Hunker down with a bowl of Corn Chowder and a slice of sticky pineapple cake while watching the wonderful old movie Random Harvest . . . (click there to see a trailer)

Something else that goes really well with old movies on these first chilly nights . . . knitting!  You should know, in case you want to knit but you think you can’t, honestly, anyone can knit a scarf.  I am living proof.

Part of my decorations . . . must have my tissue pumpkin … and btw, I know they’re sometimes hard to find . . . so we found them for you — they’re in our shopping store!  Trees, and wedding bells too!  And all kinds of other little fall treats . . . 

Farmer’s Market is where these came from . . .

I find this growing wild on the far side of our barn . . . Birds love these berries; I don’t eat them, but I love them too!  I don’t know the name of this gorgeous plant . . . Do you girls know?  If you do, tell me, and I’ll put a link here for it (update . . . lots of you are saying viburnum opulus . . . what do you think?).

Have I ever shown you the Farmstand I used to have in California?  Well, here it is!

Here’s the inside . . . It had an old Dutch door we found at a flea market that Joe put in; we had firewood, old baskets, oil paintings, pottery bowls, vegetable seeds, bee skeps, bouquets of herbs and flowers, bundles of lavender, apples, lemons, pears, walnuts and onions from our garden . . . it was a little market too, so we had cream, bacon, pancake mix and maple syrup.  That red fire bucket now hangs on the rafters of my pantry here.

This is a painting a friend did of my farmstand . . . now it hangs in my studio here on the island . . . there it is, right over there!  Such a nice memory!

Here’s how it looked up at the counter . . . see the little small Lady Apples?  Aren’t they cute!  We planted a tree out there . . .

Farmstands have so much to offer this time of year . . .

Love to see dried corn on the kitchen door . . .

We wrap store-bought (Michael’s Crafts) leaf garlands around branches, and mix them with the small pumpkins on the ledge over our front door . . .

Soon we’ll have a garden full of big crunchy maple leaves to kick into the air!

Of course, we need black cats, especially now ♥.  One year ago, we visited our local shelter and found this sweet little character with the twirly mustache; we scooped him up because we knew he would help make our house even more of a home, how could more love not grow from this!  So this month, all posts will include, for your (and my) enjoyment, the CHILDHOOD OF JACK.  Here he is on our first day together . . .

Home Sweet Home, Girlfriends, it’s a dark rainy morning here, very cozy inside, but no Harvest Moon for us last night! I hope you got to see it! Enjoy your day ♥ Happy October to us all! XOXO 

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554 Responses to AUTUMN ARTS . . . for Home Sweet Home

  1. Merci says:

    Oh my gosh, Susan, I was looking at the picture of the Farmstand you had in CA and realized it’s the same one I used to go to all the time when I lived in AG over a year ago! Same address 2520 and it was named Huasna when I lived there. Have to say not as adorable and quaint as when it was called Branches Market, you definitely have that special touch! What a very small world!

  2. Celtic Heart says:

    Ah! such Autumn splendour and a moment of peaceful happiness to read your beautiful words and look at your perfect pictures. You have no idea what comfort they can bring, especially when I feel as if all the joy is slowly being sucked from my world; I know where I can come for respite when the days become a struggle. I just this very morn turned my calendar (how did I miss the month turning?) and cannot believe that we are already, so quickly in October but where on earth did September go? Why, it seems only a day or two ago that the calendar passed from August, now we hurtle towards the longer, darker nights with curtains drawn early and fires lit in the hearth. With all my misery, I am struggling to blog. Some lines are written but not published, and I fear they will remain so. Still, after my computer failing yet again last week, I am happy to have it back at last, even though it is a struggle to reload all the programmes and things that make it mine. Thankfully, I published my Shrine blog before it crashed again. Where are we without our computers? I should try harder, but when the grey descends it is a task too great. Please, keep up the good work with the bright joy and happiness you bring to our lives! It means so much to me, more than I can say.

  3. peggy sweeney says:

    ok now I totally need a list of more movies like Random Harvest, I was glued to it!!!!

  4. Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

    My parents built our home and my mom insisted in TWO Dutch doors – they both opened onto the screened porch, one from the kitchen and one from the living room. the sill was wide and it was perfect for cooling a pie. We moved from that house in 7th grade. Several years ago I was driving past my old house, saw people outside, talked to them and they took me on a tour of the house. I had forgotten the Dutch doors until we got to the kitchen. Oh! The Dutch doors! I told them how my mother insisted and had quite the argument with my dad over those doors. they said they loved them as well. 🙂

  5. Betty Marie,Pennsylvania says:

    Good Morning Susan,
    I have gone on ediable berries and the ones you show are not there.
    They are not in the current family, chockecherry, Buffalo Berry, Gooseberry,Elderberry,Huckleberry or Loganberries. The leaves do not match any of the photos or any berries listed as edible. So the birds can have their fill of them. They are lovely, maybe they can be used for making ink. Just a thought… 🙂

  6. Betty Marie,Pennsylvania says:

    Rhonda D
    You just use news print not the color print though, and wrap the tomatoes and place them in the basement. If you don’t have a basement then I don’t think this will work. It has to be a cool dry place.

  7. Betty Marie,Pennsylvania says:

    Chris Wells, From West Texas
    Oh, how nice. Thanks for sharing

  8. Jace says:

    The SPECTACULAR harvest moon in Chicago:

  9. Carrie, the California Tree Hugger says:

    Hi Susan,

    What a glorious and decadent trip, cruising through canopies of fall colors! Can’t quite imagine New England in the fall – it must feel like the trees are putting on their Sunday best every day!

    Growing up in Central California, right near Modesto, my Mom, Auntie Aina and I looooooved fall colors and knew exactly the spots nearby that had a concentration of such color. We would cruise through those streets, oohing and awwing to beat the band.

    Chinese Pistache trees are the best bet for fall color here in the hot Central Valley. They have feathery leaves and the colors can vary from a canary yellow, to pumpkin orange to fire engine red! They are slow growers but they pay off in spades. There is a variety of Maple that apparently does well at low altitudes and high heat, so that may be the next tree I plant.

    Looking forward to seeing the pics of the sugar maples and all the other trees that make up the gorgeous autumnal tapestry of New England.

    -A California Tree Hugger-

    • sbranch says:

      I love tree huggers! I hugged a 2000 year old tree in England; that was my best so far, although they have all been good! Sequoias are the MOST amazing.

      • Carrie says:

        There are gorgeous trees in the English films “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma”. Wondering where in England you hugged the 2000 year old tree? I am also the girlfriend who has commented about being a hearty anglophile having gone to Charleston because I read about it on your blog, asked about your Royal Ascot escapade (loved your description more than words can say) and also used the word “tipped” and you paid me the highest compliment ever when you responded by saying you thought I might be English. You also introduced me to Beatrix Potter and I have purchased virutally a village of her figurines from your website and lastly, I fell in love with your art so have given water color a go and love it. How to thank you heaven knows but please know how much your beautiful pictures, art, words and life philosophy mean to us readers!

        • sbranch says:

          The tree was in pasture, out in the middle of nowhere, very near the home of our friends (we went to Ascot with) who live outside Tetbury. It was our second visit to hug this tree. Loved every word of your comment! xoxo

        • Carrie, I second your words “How to thank you heaven knows but please know how much your beautiful pictures, art, words and life philosophy mean to us readers!”

      • Jeannie Taylor says:

        My uncle lives in the border country of England and Scotland and on his property there is, believe it or not, a Redwood growing. Quite the sight. We speculate that a seed from a bird dropping must have started it years and years ago. Thank you for all the wonderful photos. You are a blessing to all of us.

  10. Star Gazey Pie Queen says:

    Wow! I have just found your wonderful blog! I’m going to join in the fun right now. There are lots of things to see here so I am not going to waste another moment saying Hello! and go have a good old nose around with a nice cup of tea and a digestive biscuit. I’m Anne, by the way, and I love baking, why I use the name of the traditional Cornwall dish Star Gazey Pie.

  11. mary spring says:

    … so you and Joe set off for your “leaf- peeping ” journey tomorrow ?! … you know that we all wish you both a wonder full time !! … and hoping you have beautiful fall weather to enjoy !!….please take lots of photos and have fun !! ( somehow I already know you will ) …take care..

  12. Oooooooh Susan! Autumn is my favorite time of the year! I love the crisp feeling the air has today already – it definitely feels like fall is on it’s way!! Your post is awesome, amazing, and awe-inspiring – the three A’s! I remember your farm stand and store that you had in CA – – – my husband and I were going to plan a trip to see California and stop by to visit both, but we didn’t do it in time!!! 🙁 Never put off to tomorrow what you can do today!

  13. Candice from Ohio says:

    Hello Susan,
    I love your blog! So gets me in the mood for Autumn! I had 4 volunteer pumpkins (not large by any means, but free!) come up at the edge of our field behind our house and last evening I picked them for decorating and I found some broom corn too that I cut. I wish I could find some bittersweet! Growing up I remember my Grandmother had a lovely gold bowl that she would fill with freshly picked bittersweet and display every fall! Wonderful memory. It is a cool and rainy day here in NW Ohio, so guess what we’re going to have for supper!! Your recipe for Corn Chowder! Looks and sounds delish!!
    Thank you for the wonderful Blog!
    Warm regards,

  14. Deb from Dixie says:

    Loved every word, quote and photo in this post, warmed my heart!……Autumn is such a joy filled season. Susan, thanks for sharing with us Girlfriends. The Branch Market looks exactly like a cozy little farmers market store…..filled with the heart of the home spirit and yummy things to eat.
    Loved seeing Little Jack………all curled up and safe in his new home, the beginning of the kitty love fest.
    This is just a wonderful post……makes me swoon for everything Autumn.

    Sometimes I like a grey, rainy day, today is one of those here. It is gloomy, rainy, cool…….kinda nice…..makes it extra warm and cozy inside. I am writing this looking out my window into the woods. There are three baby deer and two Mama’s…….eating my hydrangas for lunch…….LOL. Cardinals at the bird feeder, and a big Rabbit eating birdseed under the bird feeder. Just love that….natures creatures… close I could almost touch them. So, so cute!

    It was such fun looking at your woods……and thinking of the meanderment… experience on the island…..the turns in the road, walking around the bend……to find…….an unexpected beautiful flower, leaf, or cute critter! Can’t wait to see more beautiful photos of Autumn wonder next week…I miss the charm of New England…….but am so lucky that even though in the south, we have changing seasons, beautiful hills, mountains and woods.

    Have a Happy week girlfriends……and a magical Autumn!

  15. Christie Ray says:

    This is the most heart warming music…I’m swelling up on the inside and might just do some leaking from these tear ducts…
    Isn’t fall…October especially…the most wonderful thing! Could you imagine a world without Octobers…skipping from September to November…(love sweet Anne with an “e”)
    The yummy foods say COMFORT all over…I sit here with my knitting…wishing I had a big bowl of your corn chowder, for it is only 56 degrees today! Glorious October!
    I want to go to that little market of yours! So thankful you captured photos so I can go there in my dreams. Isn’t life incredible, with its twists and turns and chapters… You, our dear girl, are so blessed. We are blessed just knowing you:)
    Happy fall evening, to you and Joe and the kitties,


    • sbranch says:

      I hear it’s very cool in the middle of the country today . . . I’m thinking of all the lucky people who live there! We leave on the 8 am boat, going on our wander through New England … made no reservations… will look at map on boat ride — and take lots of pictures! Thanks Christie!

      • christie ray says:

        Oh, what fun you’ll have…I bet your picnic basket is filled with goodies;) Yes, lots of photos to share with all of us just itching for a virtual tour of new England!
        I’ve been so tempted to christen the fireplace with its first little fire of the season!
        Happy trails, dear friends,

      • I’m writing this as you leave on the ferry! I hope your little adventure will be blessed with great weather, serendipitous lodgings, and beautiful memories. xoxoxo

        • sbranch says:

          On the boat right now . . . we were just remarking how much the ocean looks just as it did in the middle of the Atlantic! Thank you so much Cathy!

  16. Jan says:

    Have sooo enjoyed catching up on all the Autumn posts. Have been out of town for two weeks.( My daughter and son-in-law just had their second daughter September 18th. Went down for the birth and stayed to help, and get in on some Grandma time! So we now have seven grandchildren!!) Your kitchen looks wonderful! Really do like the blue and white together. Autumn is also my favorite time of year. Thanks for the recipes! I plan to try the slaw and soup this weekend. ( Honeycrisp apples are one of my favorites. Used to send them to my kids at college.) My sister and her husband will be here form New York. Loved the Fall pictures and ideas for decorating. Glad to be home and back to reading your blog!

  17. Thank you for the sweet music for Autumn–had a terrible day, and really needed some perking up! I’ve been eyeing the pumpkins, gourds, and mums for two weeks–waiting for the weather to cool a bit. This is the week though and now I am inspired to bring on the oranges and golds and yellows that make it feel like fall. Thanks for the much needed distraction and inspiration. Enjoy that walk–looks heavenly.

  18. Betty Marie says:

    At least 8 times I have played “Ashokan Farewell” today. It is now my favorite song. I love it no matter what instrument is being used. Loved the cello! I have never heard this song till today. At least I don’t remember hearing it played. My hubby is a Civil War History buff, and I don’t recall it being played durning any of his movies. I was able to find the words to the song and the sheet music today. This is turley a beloved song. Loved the Celtic Woman’s violinist playing this. I learn so much on your blog Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      Remember the shower I gave for my girlfriend who is getting married? I just found out she is walking down the aisle to Ashokan Farewell (a week from this Saturday) … this means no mascara at the wedding!! Won’t that be heavenly?

      • christie ray says:

        Betty Marie…I did the same thing… oh, dear girl! No mascara is wise! My niece has studied violin all of her life…I am referring this beautiful song for her to play for us. My son has just become engaged and the wedding date is next October! His fiancee was trying to decide on colors, and when i suggested purple and green…she loved the idea and has chosen those colors! Sue, once again, your inspiration strikes;) She’s having a vintage theme, and s string quartet to play….I will gently suggest that beautiful beautiful Ashoken Farewell…
        Much love and many thanks,

      • Betty Marie says:

        Yes, I do remember the shower you gave.
        I got a chill when I read your reply that “Ashokan Farewell” will be played . Heavenly for both the music and no mascara.

      • Betty Marie says:

        Susan , My reply got in the wrong place. It is right below the next posting…Hummmm… I don’t know how that happened.

        • Betty Marie says:

          This is too weird….. it will not let me post right under your reply…Oh well.. You will find me. 🙂

  19. Mady says:

    Ooh, the two storied bumped-out portion on the right side of your house looks fascinating. Sometime, please show us what it looks like inside.

  20. Susan says:

    Tomorrow AM is my DH’s birthday! The trees are full of color here; not all of them have turned just yet. Perhaps I’ll make Corn Chowder for a special lunch. We’re having steaks on the grill and end of summer corn-on-the-cob, with a blueberry pie (his fave) for dinner with the family. Then the band comes by for an extra proctice before the weekend gig so it will be a busy day; the Apple Fest is always a good weekend for the band to play at . Lots of people like the music. I hope you enjoy your trip and that it’s lots of fun for you both.Thanks for a good blog to start October; it was just lovely.

  21. Mary S. says:

    What a wonderful Autumn blog!! It’s finally starting to cool off a little bit here in CA, so I have put out all my Fall decor! I LOVE it!!
    “Random Harvest” has always been one of my favorite movies!
    I loved seeing Jack’s baby picture!!! And the “Ashokan Farewell” music was perfect!
    Thank you!
    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  22. Romy Silvester says:

    Dear Susan,
    We have not met on line before. A friend of mine, Jodi, sent me your blog. I signed up for it. There is so much to look at and read and it really cheers me up. I lost my job last year due to medical problems. Am pretty much disabled due to numerous unwanted ouchies. I came from Iowa and still 40 years later I still miss it becasue of the seasons and my two best friends are still there and I especially miss spring and fall. I did live in Newport for a year and Cape Cod (Buzzards Bay) when I was married. Oh the beauty that I miss. I have been in West Palm Beach all these many years. I ocean is truly awesome but I can no longer go to it. Too hard to walk it and get in and out. I have collected so many types of shells and have started painting them. My friends say they are very unique and pretty. Also, dabble in making jewelry but don’t wear it much anymore as I do not go out much. I am told that I should be a writer because of a few little things I have put pen to ink to. Anyway, I just admire all that you do and can do and seems like Joe is a wonderful guy. Please think of me when you catch the falling leaves. They are one of my passions as well as wildflowers, home grown vegetables and real forests, kitties, painting dried roses to keep,
    and books of real life. Love and God bless and thank you so very much for your life’s adventures. I go along with you. I also miss New England, even the snow.
    Sincerely and with gratitude. Romy

  23. Taminie says:

    I love a “little getaway” on your blog and web site….
    I LOVED the green pot on the front porch that appears to be a “water fountain”? I’ve been looking for something similar, any chance you can help me find one? Thanks a bunch!

    • sbranch says:

      It is a water fountain, a nice gentle one that makes a nice gurgling noise. I did what I’m sure you do, I just kept looking until I found one I liked that was the right price. This one was about $60 and I found it maybe 3 years ago at Mahoney’s Garden Center in Falmouth, MA — it will freeze in the winter, so pretty soon we will have to put it in the barn.

  24. Mary Kwiatkowski says:

    This is my favorite time of year too. But in Florida we can only imagine cool nights and swirling leaves.

  25. LINDA says:

    I get such joy reading your blogs and viewing your pictures – how I envy your lifestyle and talents! Joe sounds like a treasure, and I love seeing and hearing about Jack and Girl. You make me smile. Thank you!

  26. Bea says:

    To brighten our day, we journey with you in your adventures – how wonderful! Thank you.

  27. Donna from Kennett Square, PA says:

    Favorite time of year hands down! Just made a “pumpkin stack”, very popular in Lancaster County, Amish Country-so cute and amazingly different types of pumpkins!

  28. Tiah Ann Foster says:

    Please, let’s see a picture of Kitty Girl, too.


  29. Jane Flannery-Hall says:

    I love the closeness to you many miles away in Maine. I treasure the connection, love of the simple and of cats!!! Blessings,

  30. Mary Peterson says:

    Susan: as Fall is my favorite time of year, your posts mean all the more to me now. I loved your drive in New England — we were there about 20 years ago (our kids are now 29 & 30!) and I can still remember the color and the beauty. It’s so inspirational to see your decorations (inside and out). It makes me want to live there myself.

    Would LOVE to be the recipient of that beautiful measuring cup and your book. Have a wonderful weekend.

  31. Margie cush says:

    Love, love LOVE those beautiful old houses!! Thank you for sharing them!

  32. Sue Urness says:

    I just adore your kitchen makeover!! And hope you manage to get around to doing more “fallerizing” before your girlfriends come. That always serves as ample inspiration to me to get stuff out!! My 1920’s Midwest Square home here in MN loves fall best! Waiting patiently to see your fall house. Hurry, please… 🙂

  33. Rose says:

    I don’t have a website, I don’t know how to do that. I love yours, though. I especially like the pictures of your home, I wonder what it would be like to live in New England. I really wanted to sign up for the cookbook and measure cup. I can’t find where to sign up, I receive your newsletter……..computers and me, arghhhh(is that how you spell that sound?) Can you tell me ,in the picutre of your house above, right past the white lawn chairs, there is a kind of porch with little windows above, What is up there? Is that a bedroom? MORE pictures of Jack! Can’t get enough of that cat!

    • sbranch says:

      You did just fine Rose, because when you left this comment, you were automatically entered in the drawing!! It’s a bedroom up there, and I’ll always include Jack, our girlfriends love him almost as me as me!

  34. Bonnie says:

    Hi Susan! I also found a copy of your cookbook Heart of the Home at my Friends of the Library book sale. It was like hitting the JACKPOT! Since I have a copy already, I wrapped it up along with your book Autumn, and sent it off to my niece who recently got married and moved from NH to FLA. She was so excited! Both books reminded her of everything New England. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  35. Fabienne Logan says:

    Recent reader of your incredibly gorgeous site! Love all the fall photos, autumn is my favorite season, even out here in California. Everything you use is so warm and homey and inviting. Thanks for fabulous ideas for our little abode. We’re going camping next weekend in our little teardrop trailer and I plan to gather some fall foilage. Will think of you when I cook in our cast iron old dutch oven too. We have a blast with this group of new friends, all own teardrop trailers! Enjoy this wonderful season of abundance!
    Fabienne in CA (your site is top of my favorites list now!)

  36. Donna Rose Houchen says:

    Susan- Your home is right out of my dreams! It is SO cozy, so you, and so filled with LOVE. Your cat JACK is such a character with his fancy mustache! The little pumpkins above your door are MAGICAL and beautiful against the white wood. I went CRAZY over your photos of the dollhouses. The giant one is now part of my dreams and I had to get out a measuring stick to see just how huge that thing is! Thank You for taking the time to record these finds so we can all travel along with you on your amazing journey. I have given your books to all of my friends and all of them now have a LIBRARY of your enthusiastic heart. XOXO

  37. Happy Autumn to all ! Love antique stores especially this time of year and tromping thru woods on crunchy leaves ! You are a kindred spirit Miss Susan ! 🙂

  38. Dee from Yakima, WA says:

    I love all the beautiful fall colors. Waiting for fall to really kick in. Leaves on the ground and acorns everywhere. Hope I get them picked up before snowfall. Looking forward to winter email.

  39. Peggy Lancour says:

    Jack looks so small and sweet! I would love to scoop him up myself! I love the photos of New England. We lived in Bolton, Connecticut for six years and it is my favorite place of all. Retired now and I (I am the only one) want very much to move back there.

  40. Eileen Heidenheimer says:

    During our latest road trip into Ozark country in southern Missouri, my sister and I thought of you often, Susan: beautiful foliage vistas of autumn’s beginnings, sweet items in flea markets and antique stores, and many recipes to replicate.

  41. Janice Biggs says:

    Love your website! And I love Martha’s Vineyard! We were there last year during our vacation! Thanks for posting such beautiful pictures!

  42. Margaret Blodgett says:

    I love all of your Fall things, being a 90 year old Fall baby. I also have the glass measuring cups of my Mother’s like yours. About 85 years ago, my sister and I had the whole collection of doll furniture (for a doll house) that was made by Tinker Toy. They were so cute, but we never did have a doll house, so we made rooms on the floor with clothes pins. It worked!!! I’m new to your blog, and can’t wait until the next ones now. You are so inspiring and clever with your decorating. We had a kitty when I was little and her name was Margaret Mae, Jeannie Elizabeth, Juanita Elizabeth, Lovell Blodgett. Only we didn’t know until we were older that “she” wasn’t a she, but a “he”. She was gone by then. I will be waiting to see the results of your latest trip. Thanks for the recipes, too.

  43. Jeannie Taylor says:

    You and I are kindred spirits. I was born in California and have always wanted to live back East. I think I was kidnapped and taken over the Rockies to the Golden State. I too love England and Scotland. My father was an Aberdonian from Scotland. I was lucky enough recently to see the Princess Diana Exibit aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach. I cried a little. She was so young and beautiful to be taken from us so soon. Anyway, love your posts especially the Vineyard in Autumn and Winter, my favorite seasons. Keep them coming and I will keep dreaming and scheming…LOL!

  44. Mamie says:

    I just wanted to let you know that my mom and I always love reading your blog, so I nominated it for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! (I’m kind of new to the blogging world, so I’m not really sure if it works on sites that aren’t WordPress, but I thought that you would want to know anyway.) Thanks for sharing all of your paintings and stories and experiences with us!

    • sbranch says:

      Aren’t you a sweetheart! The basis of this blog is WordPress so maybe it does count! Counts with me no matter what … Thank you Mamie!

  45. Nancy Myska says:

    Love your list of movies, We have some of the same favorites. I’m looking forward to watching the ones I haven’t seen yet.

  46. joan from california says:

    I so much enjoyed traveling along with you, leaf peeping and antiquing. What is it about doll houses that we find so fascinating? Those little dream homes in miniature. When I was around 8 or 9 years old I often played with twin girlfriends who had inherited a huge antique doll house. It almost filled a whole room and was crammed with furniture and tiny dolls. Your blog brought back delightful memories of happy hours we little girls spent together. Thank you!

  47. patty hewitt says:

    Your fall photos are salve to my soul….I live in Oceanside, California for the last 10 years and long for the seasons I grew up with in Oregon. Fortunately I have a very thoughtful daughter-in-law who sent me a small pile of beautiful colorful fall leaves from her house in Overland Park, Kansas. I have the on my kitchen green, brown and purple fall table cloth surrounding my favorite birdhouse. It definitely makes the “fall-less weather here in so-cal survivable for me, along with your inspiring blogs. Thanks so much.

  48. Karen tany says:

    The cookbook inspired me to break out your other cookbook ,vineyard seasons. Even if I dont feel like cooking, I must love seeing the art and quotes. Wish I had the older one. Thanks for

  49. Suzanne Bidinger says:

    California is to very far away from Martha’s Vineyard, but no matter the distance it seems we “girls” all love the same things. Life has taken away much of the free time I once had ~ time to shop for antiques and go to local shows. I love all the distractions of my life – the changing seasons, the visit with family from far away, having the grandkids overnight ~ but I miss the days when my friend and I could run off on .an adventure to shop and talk and be carefree for a few hours. Your website always feels like an adventure ~ to a place I would love to go. Everything you show is so delightful. And me girlfriend and I talk about your site when we can find the time to chat and catch up. It’s a pleasure to stop by your place and visit and see what you have new ~ even from fas away California.

  50. Kathy Oliberos says:

    I really enjoy seeing your home and yard turn colours as the season has changed. Out our livingroom window we watch as the yard changes from summer to fall. Winter soon to be here. The smell of cider on the stove is so cozy and today one of my daughters is coming over to make pies with me. Such a good time enjoying family and friends.

  51. Lori Kay says:

    Love all your photos ,I love fall! Thanks for the great time we spent together.

  52. Lori Conk says:

    I love, love, love your blogs! I pass them on to friends & family because they are so happy!

  53. Cathie Becker says:

    Susan I believe we are twins!! We love all the same things, events, hobbies…on and on. Thank you for your gift of blogging. I think its wonderful for all of us for you to share your self, husband and your daily lives at home. Thank you and I am so grateful for the pictures of fall. Here in N.Calif we are still green.
    Blessings from California

  54. arlene koktavy says:

    Love the up lifting happy blog. It is cozy, uplifting and fullof gratitude which I love. I hope to get picked for the prize. Arlene from Northfield

  55. arlene koktavy says:

    Love the up lifting happy blog. Fall is the best. Arlene from Northfield

  56. Mary Ann from NH says:

    Oh Susan…I loved all of your posts from your recent trip and the dollhouse you bought is wonderful! Thank you for sharing “shirts drying” on the clothesline as it reminds me of my Mum.
    By the way, I’ve been looking for a pot like your seafoam green pot on your brick steps because it looks as though it may double as a small fountain. Am I correct?
    Keep all the beautiful photos and posts coming. We will need them as winter is approaching!!

  57. joanne says:

    Hi Susan,

    Just love the old doll house you found in your travels. Reminds me of the doll house my Mom & Dad gave my daughter when she was a little girl. My Dad assembled it for her which took days and then she had so much fun decorating it over the years. We still have it and she is all grown up now and married and I am waiting to send it back to her when she has a daughter (hopefully). Such wonderful memories. Thank you for reminding me.

  58. Ann from Texas says:

    Enjoy your blog! Love your Autumn pictures! This is my favorite time of year & I love to decorate my house. I always change the guest bathroom w/the seasons. I have shower curtain, towels, picture, room spray, liquid hand soap, & paper guest towels all w/Autumn leaves on them somewhere! Cute, happy scarecrows decorate mantel & shelves in living room in addition to bittersweet vines everywhere! Also, lots of pumpkins & great Autumn table linens! Just love it all! I have your “Autumn from the Heart of the Home” book on the coffee table, and reread it each year. Took it on a trip last weekend & read all of the poetry & quotes aloud to my husband while he was driving. It sparked some good conversation. Thank you!!

  59. KAREN says:

    Dear Heart, Hope it’s not too late to drop off a note in hopes that the “goodies” are still available to win!! Love EVERYTHING you’ve found. You have an eagle eye, Miss Susan, when it comes to finding just the perfect things!! Hope you don’t mind being called “Ms Susan” and Dear Heart”, but I’m from the South and we just say these things without thinking. Even so, I miss the colors of fall from when I grew up in Michigan where the maple trees would turn every color of autumn. Trees here just turn a yucky brown; not pretty. To compensate we’ve taken a few fall trips to enjoy the colors and came back feeling as if we had been to a place where the country was as it should be with true seasons. This is not to say the South doesn’t have its charms, otherwise we wouldn’t have Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. What can I say??!! Enjoy your colors for me this year. I have some more of your books to mail to my dearest friends, so I keep busy!! Love, Ladyheartwell

  60. Mary Pritt says:

    What a beautiul way to start my week. My husband and I took a fall “tour” last week. The days were beautiful and we had such an enjoyable week.

    The kitchen towels were so pretty — linens are one of my “loves.” Thank you for sharing such interesting and “fun” posts.

  61. Michele says:

    thanks for the great movie list!! and everything else contained herein- the soup, the ideas- all of it!

  62. Michele says:

    And BTW- I am in my 3rd reading of A Fine Romance- went to UK last year and adored it. Now I really want to go back.

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